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Entries in Illusione Maduro (2)

Monday
Dec052011

Illusione 88 Maduro

 

This week's review is of the new Illusione 88 Maduro! There are 5 sizes in the maduro line and I decided to try the 88 because I've smoked more of the regular Illusione 88's than any other size in the line. This cigar has the normal Illusione filler and binder, but with a San Andreas Maduro wrapper. The new maroon band for the maduro line looks great. The 88 is a 5x52 robusto.

The 88 Maduro has a very firm feel to it and an overall even roll. The color is slightly mottled dark brown, but definitely a natural looking wrapper, not jet black. There aren't any flaws in the oily wrapper. The aroma at the foot is of light hay and leather. The prelight draw shows a slightly resistant (but not overly) draw with an earthy flavor. Once lit this cigar starts out with some black pepper spice, leather, deep earth and some cedar. Just a little bit into this cigar a weird small hole appeared in the wrapper just above the burnline. I am guessing some slightly uneven bunching made it tunnel just a little bit. I was able to keep smoking like normal and burned through the whole without any additional problems. The burn hasn't been perfect on this cigar, but a few minor touchups along the way fix it easily. This has a darker/deeper flavor than the normal 88, the maduro wrapper is really showing through in the flavor profile. 

At the halfway point there is even more of that earth and leather flavor, with some dark coffee and an almost charred meat flavor coming through. I would say this is a full bodied/flavored medium strength cigar so far. As I get into the final third the flavor profile hasn't changed a whole lot, other than some walnut nuttyness showing up every few draws. The strength moves into the medium to full range at the end. 

Overall the Illusione 88 Maduro is a solid cigar, but I think I will stick with the regular 88s. This has a darker and deeper profile, but the San Andreas wrapper overshadows some of the classic flavors I get out of the Illusione blend. It is definitely worth trying though, I can see some people enjoying the darker profile that the San Andreas wrapper adds to this cigar. These sell for about a dollar more than the original Illusione 88, putting them in the $8-9 range. I would say if you come across them, give it a try at least once to see if you like this version. I am glad I gave it a shot because I love almost all of Dion's cigars, but if given the choice of the maduro or the natural, give me the natural! 

Monday
Sep272010

Illusione hl Maduro

Last month I reviewed the Illusione hl Candela, which was part one of a special release of the Holy Lance. The second part is todays review, the maduro version. This cigar has the same binder/filler as the classic hl and the candela, but has the maduro capa. Again, the hl measures in at 7.5 X 40.

This lancero has a very attractive dark wrapper without any visible flaws or major veins. The triple cap is neatly applied with a small pigtail. The roll seems even along the length of the cigar, without any hard or soft spots.  Once clipped, the draw is perfect for a lancero, not too tight. The predraw brings flavors of earth and cedar. After lighting, the hl maduro starts out with great flavors of cedar, earth and a great balance of sweet and spicy characteristics. The further I get into this cigar, the more the flavors continue to evolve, with the addition of some roasty espresso and deep leather. This cigar reminds me of why I really enjoy lanceros. The burn is dead even and slow burning.

The ash holds on for between 1/2-3/4 inch, which in my experience is pretty typical for a lancero. At the halfway point I would mark this down as a medium bodied cigar with a ton of rich, complex flavors. During the final third a slight crack shows up in the wrapper, but I am able to smoke through it without any issues. Surprisingly, this version of the holy lance has less spice to me than the Candela version. I would have expected the opposite. 

The Illusione hl Maduro is a great cigar! There is a ton of rich, complex flavor to this cigar. I had no problems taking this lancero all the way down to the point where I could barely hold onto it anymore. I didn't want to put it down! Like the Candela, this is a small run, so they won't be around for long. My local shop still has them in stock, as well as a few online vendors, so If you really want them you shouldn't have too much trouble. I know I will be picking more of these up while I can.